Traci Anton is a Los Angeles-based contemporary furniture designer noted for her glamorous interpretations of 1920s French-influenced tables. Common to all her work is the legacy of historical elements and fabrication methods that are generations old. Anton’s pieces consistently marry grace with solidity, blending a feminine delicacy of line with the fortitude of steel and stone. Intended for residential and commercial spaces, indoors or outdoors, her work is available through www.stelacollection.com.
Born in the Midwest steel belt of Gary, Indiana, Traci grew up having an appreciation for the industry’s culture: the strength inherent in the manufactured steel, the massive machinery, and the imposing power of the plant buildings themselves. As an adolescent in the university town of Valparaiso, she was affected by the intellectual energies of the campus, and -- situated 40 miles from Chicago -- with that city’s historically significant architecture and Art Institute. At Butler and later Indiana University, as she studied art and architectural history and French, she did not forget the compelling artistry of what she’d seen in Chicago: Louis Sullivan’s ornamental iron and copper work and Frank Lloyd Wright’s use of natural stone. Other sources of inspiration during her college years include the Art Nouveau master Hector Guimard’s architectural ironwork in Paris, French Deco furniture, and the paintings of Modigliani. Spending her junior year in France was the obvious next step. Then Traci determined to move to Paris, which she did immediately after graduation.
In Paris, she spent time assisting curators of the American Center. Alone in the galleries, she contemplated the cutting edge artworks and marveled at the Center’s new Frank Gehry building. She credits these years in Paris with influencing her ideas and creativity, and sparking what would become her design approach: a celebration of French hand-craftsmanship, natural stone wedded to sleek bronzed steel, intriguing finishes, and timeless silhouettes. She notes a tendency toward earthy palettes and surfaces with their natural imperfections in tact, all of which give the work “transitional style” and allow it to blend in a range of interiors, from traditional to modern.
Returning to the States, she settled in Los Angeles, assisting interior design partners Suzanne Rheinstein and Joe Nye in their practice, which offered antiques and furnishings. She went on to assist the renowned antique dealer, Joel Chen, whose showroom was packed with work representing a wealth of styles and periods. Working alongside him, designing furniture for the reproduction furniture line and as he advised clients on antique purchases, she learned from the best how to select vintage pieces for specific interiors. Chen taught her to identify her style thus influencing her to design her own line, which she launched in 2006.
Stela Collection tables, which are handcrafted in California using the same techniques as expert French artisans are fabricated from sleek, strong elements of mild steel, yellow brass, granite and limestone that are formed into delicate, functional pieces and exude a warmth usually absent from such materials; it is at once formidable and feminine. Her designs have been featured in Architectural Digest and her tables are placed in the guest rooms at the Soho Beach House, Miami.